AJ BellDec 30 2022

Five New Year’s resolutions to help clients get on top of finances

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Five New Year’s resolutions to help clients get on top of finances
Pexels/Malte Luk
BySonia Rach

As the end of 2022 approaches, AJ Bell has listed five New Year’s resolutions that it argues everyone can consider making to get on top of their personal finances.

These include: sorting old pensions, starting to save for children, writing a will, making the most of their cash and beating the tax hikes with individual savings accounts (Isas) and pensions.

Laura Suter, head of personal finance at AJ Bell, said: “January is a month where most people stay in, shun socialising and have a bit of spare time on their hands, so it’s the ideal time to tackle some of that boring life admin that you’ve been putting off. 

“The bonus is that you could make a decent amount of money from tackling some of these tasks, which is often much-needed at the start of the year.”

Sort old pensions

One of the first tasks is to track down any old pensions that individuals have lost track of, Suter explained. 

Just double check before you transfer any old pensions whether they have any guarantees attached.

According to the Department for Work and Pensions, people switch jobs on average 11 times during their careers – which means a lot of different pensions to keep track of. 

It’s estimated there could be 1.6mn ‘lost’ pension pots in the UK, with each one being worth an average of £13,000 per pot.

“So, it’s worth digging out your old paperwork,” Suter said.

“We’ve now had 10 years of auto-enrolment in the UK. This works on an opt-out basis, meaning that unless you deliberately decide not to save into a pension your employer must put one in place, subject to a few conditions. 

“Thanks to this landmark policy, private sector workers are now paying over £60bn a year into their pensions, a 50 per cent increase on a decade ago.”

Although it has dramatically increased the amount individuals save for retirement, it also means more pensions to keep track of. 

Most people will have a new pension set up for them with every new employer. 

Consolidating them together could make them much more manageable, as well as giving a better financial return.

“Your first port of call is finding any old paperwork that will tell you where your pension is and how to log-on to see its value and transfer it,” she said. 

Saving on behalf of a child is a great way to give them a financial head-start in life.

Firstly, knowing how much an individual has saved in total will help them work out how much they might need to save in the future, Suter explained.